Quarterly Bulletin Q1 – 2019

Even though the period was marked by an unusual combination of upward trends, on both the
equity and bond markets, and by a remarkable about-face by the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed), the Amethyst Fund performed well at the start of the year. The Fund’s three segments were able to seize opportunities and deliver attractive returns on the first quarter.

Quarterly Bulletin Q4 – 2018

By mid-December stock markets had become so volatile that the financial markets were under a cloud of fear. Despite a rally that began on Christmas Eve, the markets racked up record losses for the month of December and were down sharply for the year. At year end, the S&P/TSX composite total return index was down 5.4% on the month, and down 8.9% on the year. The bond markets were also buffeted from all sides.

Quarterly Bulletin Q3 – 2018

Concerns that hacking represents a national security risk have become so serious that we now need to factor them into our transactions in the mergers and acquisitions market. An unusually high rate of failed transactions led us to examine why this happened, and we have taken the necessary measures to manage this risk.

Quarterly Bulletin Q2 – 2018

Throughout the second quarter there were hopes that the U.S. administration would finally understand that imposing tariffs, first on steel and aluminum and then on a long list of Chinese products, could only be bad for both the U.S. economy and the global economy. This hope quickly faded. The trade war between the U.S. and China began on July 6, when President Trump confirmed that he was imposing tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth: as promised, China’s leaders quickly responded by imposing tariffs on the same amount of goods. However, the Americans then raised the stakes, announcing new tariffs on products worth another $200 billion, only to be quickly matched by the Chinese. With the improvisation and chaos that seem to govern decision-making at the White House, it is impossible to have any sense of where this trade war will end. What we do know is that an economic shock is inevitable.

Quarterly Bulletin Q4 – 2017

In the fourth quarter, the economic and political news was marked by a synchronized global economic upsurge, rapidly expanding corporate profits, the adoption of a sweeping tax reform bill in the U.S. and somewhat eased geopolitical tensions. These factors continued to drive buoyant stock markets, pushing the S&P 500 up to 2,674 by year’s end. This was a gain of approximately 20% on the year, and it clearly surpassed the expectations of even the most optimistic financial strategists.

Archives

2018

Even though the period was marked by an unusual combination of upward trends, on both the equity and bond markets, and by a remarkable about-face by the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed), the Amethyst Fund performed well at the start of the year. The Fund’s three segments were able to seize opportunities and deliver attractive […]

2017

In the fourth quarter, the economic and political news was marked by a synchronized global economic upsurge, rapidly expanding corporate profits, the adoption of a sweeping tax reform bill in the U.S. and somewhat eased geopolitical tensions.

2016

A multitude of risk factors have unsettled the markets during the first six months of the year.

2015

Fortunately, the North American economy continues the expansionary momentum en-joyed over the last 5 years. Despite some ambiguous data, the improving economic conditions are palpable. We do not see any signs of a pending recession, therefore North American equity markets should do well. The risks perceived by investors are related primarily to three concerns.

2014

Q3 2014 allowed some financial terms, absent from our lexicon for several years to resurface. Indeed, despite globalization which has been accelerating for decades, many economists and investors are now once again arguing in favor of the “decoupling” of economies to the benefit of the US and UK and to the detriment of Europe and […]

2013

QE = RT « Quantitative Easing = Risk Taking ». This seems to have been the magic formula in 2013, a remarkable year for risk as- sets, most notably for equi- ties and corporate bonds.